We met with our realtor two nights ago and learned we had 10 offers on our house before she decided to close the bidding because “it was beginning to be a circus.”
The highest bid was a young couple that came in $15k over the asking price with a conventional loan. They were also offering to cover the closing costs and the title and didn’t want us to pay for a home warranty. The only issue was that it was $15k over the asking price contingent on the appraisal. We had no guarantee what their appraiser would say the house was worth but our realtor told us $15k above listing was a stretch and if it came in lower, we’d have to talk about who would pay the difference.
So we countered. If they would take out the contingency about the appraisal we would do the deal. If not, we had nine other offers.
Within the hour we got a call back from the realtor who explained the young man worked for FEMA and had just been called to Austin (there’s been terrible flooding in the hill country). The young woman didn’t feel comfortable making a decision without him and he was out of pocket for a while. It could be a month before we heard back from them. We said we didn’t want to punish someone for helping people in need and were willing to wait a week to give them a chance to talk.
Then we slept on it. Things always look different in the morning, and this was no exception.
We called our realtor and asked the offer that came in second if they would match the offer from the young couple.
We heard back the same morning. The buyer countered back at $3k less than the best offer and wanted to close in two weeks. However, they will let us stay in the house rent free until the first week of July. Plus, they are paying in cash.
So, our house is sold. Just like that. No bank. No loan. No appraiser. No financing hiccups. Just cold, hard cash, some signatures and an inspector and the deal is done.
This was our first time to sell a house and from all accounts I’m told we got the fairy tale version. To be fair, we did our homework on the neighborhood when we picked the house, we worked our butts off fixing it up, we deliberately waited until summer to sell based on market statistics, we researched the most aggressive and successful realtors in our area, and we followed almost every recommendation from the staging expert. I’m sure all of that contributed to the ease of our experience.
This was also the first time I let someone do the negotiating for me and to be honest, I hated it. I may never do it again. I’ve done all of my own negotiating since the purchase of my first car as a teenager. Even when we bought this house I negotiated $27k off of the listing price (much to the chagrin of the realtors). I come from a long line of skilled negotiators that believe you never get what you don’t ask for and the word “no” communicates a threshold, not the end of the conversation. I feel like something is missing since I didn’t have but one round of back and forth. I didn’t ask for everything because I thought there would be more rounds about all of the other stuff we had not yet discussed. My realtor had to repeatedly tell me “there’s nothing left to counter, we’re done” and I didn’t receive it well. Perhaps the buyer emphatically said she was done and I am not in the loop. It’s hard when you can’t feel out the other person at the table…or even see them.
It’s small peanuts when you’re talking about the overall cost of a house, but these are the things that keep me up at night. I bet I could have done better by about $2,500 and I know we’re moving to a location where real estate is more expensive and every little bit helps. I’ve never come to the table with so much competition for what I’m offering and not gotten everything I wanted. Something feels wrong about that. Something felt wrong about cutting off offers while they were still pouring in too. But, you hire a realtor to manage all of it for you, and you defer to her methods and trust that she knows how to manage these things better than you do. Through gritted teeth, I am learning to let go and let her do what we hired her to do. She is doing a fantastic job. I am just a difficult client that would negotiate this deal into the ground knowing I have eight other offers to go easier with and probably ruin it for myself.
Enough with the lamenting. Our house sold! For a great price! And we are right on track to get to Oregon by mid July! And that is what is important.